Updated DIY Suspended light mount (Lots of pics)
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
iKine
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Updated DIY Suspended light mount (Lots of pics)


I made a post a while ago when I did a similar build for my 25 gallon tank. I wanted to go further with this build, give myself more adjustability and room for future expansion.

I just finished building one of Hydrophytes cedar stand designs (pics of stand and tank tommorow) which I applied this set up to.


Tools:

Power drill
Drill press (optional, but recommended)
3/8", 1/2", 1 1/8" spade bits (wood)
3/16" metal bit
Wrench
Hammer
20L (5G) pale
2 Pieces of pipe (any type, 20" approx length)
Pliers


Materials:

3/8" aluminum rod (I used 2 5' lengths, more than I needed)
*Machine thread eye bolts (I used the smallest I could find)
*Two matching locking nuts for eye bolts
**Two T-nuts (I used 5/16")
**Two matching 3" hex bolts
Two finger knobs for hex bolts (optional)
Small airplane cable (I used 48")
Crimps for cable

Examples of Eye bolts and T-Nuts

Eye Bolt
http://www.biconet.com/birds/GIFs/st...c/eyeBolt2.jpg

T-Nut
http://www.woodpeck.com/media/main_tnut.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6-updg-3_k...rong_t_nut.jpg

Hex bolt
http://www.bombayharbor.com/productI...0/Hex_Bolt.jpg


This is how it looks assembled



Front top to bottom I drilled a 3/8" hole with the drill press for the rod to slide into. From the back about halfway through the post I drilled a 1 1/8" hole for the t-nut to sit inside. And from center of that the rest of the way i drilled a 1/2" hole to allow the hex bolt to be threaded into the t-nut from the front.

Note the black knobs, they just sit over the hex head of the bolt so you dont need a wrench to tighten or loosen them. They aren't needed, but I liked using them.

Back view of 1 1/8" hole with T-NUT mounted inside.



Back view of rod through 3/8" hole running infront of T-NUT




For the rod assembly, with a little help I bent the rods over the 20L (5G) pale using two pieces of piping (electrical conduit is what I had on hand) for leverage, one at a time checking against eachother to have them match. To mount the cable to the light I tore apart the light, then drilled 4 smalls holes and ran the cable inside. I used a crimp to hold the cable inside the light for a clean look. After that, I found my center for the light and drilled a 3/16" hole to mount my eye bolts.








Doing it this way made it so I am able to adjust my light anywhere I would like to. As well as swing it out of the way when I'm doing quick maintenance. I did a total of 4 of these across the back of the stand. I'm only the two most outer ones for my light now, but did two more in the center in case I ever switch to two smaller pendant or MH lights.

Last edited by iKine; 10-22-2011 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:57 PM   #2
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I love the look of your cedar stand. I didn't like those metal nailing plates on the outside and I'd love more details on how you made yours without them as I'm in the process of planning a couple for myself. One for a 20L and a future 75 or even 150gal tank.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
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I built mine in the same way he did his, i just used small corner brackets hidden in behind. I also toe screwed and glued all the joints for extra strength (overkill though). I am making a shelf for it also, I'm just stealing a scrap from work tommorow and cutting it to size.

I have plans to build one of these for all of my tanks. I am lucky and know the owner of Kanaka Cedar Mill, one of the best mills in this part of Canada. I was able to get beautiful old growth cedar, true 4x4 and 2x4 for an absolute steal.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:15 PM   #4
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That looks great! I love the idea of being able to swing the light outof the way for tank work. Sharp stand, too - nice clean lines...
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:29 PM   #6
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I look forward to several close up shots of your corners to see exactly how you did it. If I can see it 3D in my mind, I can build it. That light mounting system is right in line with my KISS philosophy.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:31 PM   #7
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:46 PM   #8
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How's the racking resistance?

Can you get it to wiggle if you really try to?

I glued and clamped 2x6 redwood together for the corners and then glued and clamped mitered picture frame flat style 2x4 redwood for the top and bottom. I've got a 400# tank on it and it's still rock solid 27 years later.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:59 PM   #9
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I could park my mercury on it ! its not going anywhere

Deffinately recommend gluing softwood joints on top of screwing. Screws can pull out to easy in the red cedar.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iKine View Post

Woah... I don't know if your joints are going to cut it. I'm sure if you tried you could push one of the horizontal pieces down about a centimeter. Is there anything but those brackets holding the stand together?



The light hanger is really nice though. How much did the rod cost?
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcgd View Post
Woah... I don't know if your joints are going to cut it. I'm sure if you tried you could push one of the horizontal pieces down about a centimeter. Is there anything but those brackets holding the stand together?



The light hanger is really nice though. How much did the rod cost?
Glue, and i used 4" pan heads to toe screw each joint also. Read the thread. I know what im doing.

The first time I bought the rod I paid 3$ a foot, and bought two 4' lengths at my local Rona
This time, I paid .30$ per foot, and bought two 5" lengths from work.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:04 PM   #12
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Did you use any softwood jointing such as biscuits, dowels, ect?

I've found the main purpose of screws is to hold the wood together while the glue dries LOL.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:09 PM   #13
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I didnt even think to biscuit it! lol, I have a biscuit jointer and everything.

I just used the brackets to dry fit everything, square it up. I then pulled it all apart, glued the joints then reassembled it. After that, toe screwed it all the make it stay nice and rigid.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iKine View Post
Glue, and i used 4" pan heads to toe screw each joint also. Read the thread. I know what im doing.

The first time I bought the rod I paid 3$ a foot, and bought two 4' lengths at my local Rona
This time, I paid .30$ per foot, and bought two 5" lengths from work.

It seems you do know what you're doing, I was just checking. I missed the screw holes at first. The glue should be more than strong enough.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #15
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Sorry, I didnt mean to come off with attitude lol.

And the glue should be yea, but I didnt seen a point in taking the screws and brackets off. Once I have the shelf in the bottom (which reminds me, I have to messure it lol) you wont see any screws or brackets.
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